Medical Definition of Menopause, chemical

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Menopause, chemical: Menopause induced by chemotherapy or other chemicals or medications. Chemical menopause is a type of "induced menopause." Induced menopause is distinct from natural menopause which occurs when the ovaries naturally decrease their production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Induced menopause, due to the abrupt reduction of ovarian hormones, often causes the sudden onset of hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms such as dryness of the vaginal lining and a decline in sex drive. When the levels of hormones normally produced by the ovaries suddenly drop, changes associated with the menopause promptly take place: hot flashes (a sudden warm feeling with flushing), night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, fluctuations in sexual desire (libido), forgetfulness, trouble sleeping and fatigue, probably from loss of sleep.

Hormone therapy (HT) with estrogen and progesterone, as well as other medications, have been used to treat the symptoms of induced menopause when these are severe or disturbing. It reduces or stops the short-term changes of menopause such as hot flashes, disturbed sleep, and vaginal dryness.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018